LIFELONG LEARNERS

Ruth: A Widow’s Romance


The “Song of Ruth” is a simple song with simple lines and simple melody. Yet, if you’ll listen to it closely, you’ll realize the solemnity of its promise. And so it has become a popular love song performed during weddings. Continue reading

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Lyca Gairanod: “Thank you, Jesus.”


Who was she? Lyca was one of eight children of a poor couple. Her father was a small-time fisherman while her mother was a junk collector of recyclable plastics and bottles. She and her family lived in a shack near the seashore of Tanza, Cavite. Continue reading

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Ermita Church: An Oasis of Divine Mercy


And so one Friday, June 27, I gave in to Eva’s insistent and persistent invitation that I go to Ermita Church and join the Divine Mercy prayers at three o’clock in the afternoon.
After the prayers, Eva introduced me to Ma’am Flora Go, the president of the Divine Mercy Apostolate and the healing instrument of Jesus Divine Mercy at Ermita Shrine. A retired linguistics professor from UST, she serves on the board of the La Sallian Catechetical Center of DLSU-Manila and the HELP Foundation of Fr. William Hayes, SJ. Continue reading

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Rest in Peace, Rio


It started in 2005 with a tiny lump on her back — the size of a grain of corn. By 2010, the tiny lump had grown as big as a medium-sized mango fruit. Cita, the eldest child in the family, had been busy and mostly absent from her hometown. Her appointment as NEDA Regional Director of the Caraga Region in Mindanao had kept her away. When Cita realized that Rio needed urgent medical attention, she took the driver’s seat and never abandoned Rio no matter how turbulent the journey had been. Continue reading

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Beach Bumming, Needle Sessions and More!


Beach bumming is for the young and lovely, not for the old and wobbly! Needle sessions are for the rich and carefree, not for ordinary folk! Well, old and wobbly me spent May and June bumming on the beach, not in a bikini, ha-ha-ha!, but in a borrowed pair of shorts. And I took part in needle sessions after loafing around the beach. Continue reading

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Gifts of Speech, Self-Confidence, and Team Spirit


They walked up the stage with the confidence of Meryl Streep. They emceed with the effortless poise of Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres. They acted like Cyrano de Bergerac, Shylock, and Hamlet. They spoke with the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln and Rick Warren. Continue reading

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A Reply to Your Poem by Apollo M. Arenas


Inspired by an old class picture posted on Facebook by a high school classmate, I wrote the poem, “Looking Old, Feeling Good” for the March 16 issue of FilAmMegascene. That classmate, Dr. Apollo M. Arenas, was inspired to write the reply below. Continue reading

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Looking Old, Feeling Good


Hey, look at her:
Pretty woman
Sitting down
With her knees
Exposed!
We never noticed
Her pretty legs
Back then
We were too scared
Of her physics fiefdom.
Today she isn’t tame
Kind of naughty
And daring, too! Continue reading

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Yevtushenko and Ceña


Yevgeny
Alexandrovich
Yevtushenko.
Such a tongue-twister.
Who’s he?
“He’s a Russian poet.”
And
Restituto Continue reading

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A Handkerchief and a Widow


I. Grief

“Why are you crying?”
My eyes are very sad.
“Why?”
The little boy I loved
Is dead.
“What did he die of?” Continue reading

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